For teens, a driver’s license is a passport to freedom. For their parents, a teen’s driver’s license can be nerve-racking. All parents worry about their teens’ safety on the road, and statistics show they have reason to worry. Teens have the highest auto accident rate of any group of drivers, and car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between 15 and 20 years of age.
Household Rules for Teen Drivers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it’s important for parents to create rules for teen drivers. Household rules start where federal and state driving rules leave off. While for adults, road safety rules may be adequate, teens need additional limits. The NHTSA recommends five rules as part of a parent and teen driving agreement to keep your teen safe:
1) A cell phone ban.
Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents in Nevada. For teens who are still learning the rules of the road and still working on their driving skills, distraction can be especially deadly. Make sure your teens don’t use mobile devices while driving. You may want to consider banning all mobile phone use entirely, including hands-free devices. Some studies have suggested that even hands-free devices can serve as a distraction behind the wheel.
2) Passenger rules.
Studies have shown that teens with passengers in the car are more likely to be involved in a crash — when those passengers are other teens. You might want to create a rule so your teen doesn’t drive their friends around in their car. Doing so is simply a risk. Studies have shown that driving with an adult in the car, though, can actually encourage teens to drive more safely, so your passenger rules might not extend to adult friends and family.
3) A speeding ban.
Speeding increases the risk your teen will be in a car accident. It also increases the risk of a serious or fatal car accident. Your teen may simply not have time for maneuvers to avoid a crash if they’re driving too fast. Speeding increases the likelihood of intersection and single vehicle accidents as well as other types of crashes.
4) An alcohol ban.
Although most parents don’t like to think their teens are involved in underage drinking, statistics suggest three-fourths of teens will at least try alcohol before they graduate from high school, and one in ten high school students drink and drive. One way to prevent drinking and driving is to encourage your teen to call you, a friend or a family member if they need a sober ride home. Make sure your teens know they won’t get in trouble by calling you if they have been drinking and need to get home safely.
5) Seatbelt rules.
Buckling up is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent serious injuries. In a car accident, a seat belt keeps your teen in the car and keeps them from being tossed from the vehicle. Make sure your teen understands they should buckle up every time they step in the car — even on short trips.
To promote teen driving safety, you might want to not only create a new driver deal, but get it in writing, too. Talk to your teen about consequences and punishments if they disobey the rules.
Even if your teen is a responsible driver, not all drivers on Las Vegas and Nevada roads are safe. If you or your teen is involved in a car accident, the caring and professional personal injury attorneys at Dallas Horton & Associates are available for a consultation. Simply contact our law offices to speak to one of our attorneys. Our law firm specializes in personal injury cases, and we have already worked with more than 7000 plaintiffs in the Nevada area.